Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Studio Plumbing Genius!

I posted a pic of a corner of my studio on Facebook and from the responses it was quickly clear that this little bit of genius was worth sharing in more detail.

Years ago when I moved my studio into the attic I had to sort out the lack of plumbing up there. Printmakers need water for obvious reasons, and plenty of it. Ink is a very messy business. So I came up with something fairly rudimentary involving a water carrier with a tap and a bucket underneath....it was all a bit Carry On Camping but without the innuendos. 

Nonetheless I carried on this way for a while until my dad came up with a wonderful solution for me....tailored specifically to my needs and the space available for the unit. This design could easily be adjusted for any space.

This little beauty has a stainless steel sink with plug and waste pipe leading to a 20 litre waste container. I think the sink was sold as a salad bowl and he cut a hole in it for the waste pipe fitting. The waste container takes precisely the amount of water which can be stored in the 2 storage tanks ( 10litre rigid water carriers) so needs emptying when they're both empty....be warned, never refill your water tanks without emptying the waste. I haven't made that mistake yet, but I like to stay wary! Yuk.

The shower head is ideal, it is moveable so can be directed. It operates very simply from a foot pump. I thought this might be a pain but in reality I don't even register that I'm doing it - it quickly became second nature.

To house the system and keep it cleanable, my dad adapted a painted steel shelving unit (cut a big hole in it) I have the added benefit of a central shelf to store all my cleaning bits and bobs. Note the scanty descriptions of the engineering side of things - I suspect there is a little bit more to it, but that is what is so magical about someone making something for you that you couldn't possibly make yourself. Am pretty sure that he had to change the height of the shelving unit as well - perhaps a welder was involved here as I don't think my dad still has any welding gear.Though I wouldn't put it past him!

All in all, it is an essential piece of equipment which, together with my etching press and drying racks, has been instrumental in turning the attic from a room into my studio.

Thanks Dad. :)


  1. That's just brilliant. Very Heath Robinson but it obviously does the trick! If your Dad is free I have loads of things need sorting in my studio! :))

  2. I love this idea, you have your own little work top too. I like your dads style! This must make life as a printmaker much easier and no more carrying your inky tools downstairs to wash. No wonder you are chuffed!

  3. Thank you both so much - my dad has built many things over the years, including boats to the highest spec.(as a hobby!!), this was a little project to help me out and has been operating beautifully for years now. I shared it when I saw mention of buckets by another artist which jogged a memory and reminded me how lucky I am now to have water on tap. Does the job perfectly.

  4. You are lucky to have your great and caring dad! He certainly came up with a fabulous and useful design - perhaps he should patent it and start a shop on Folksy! I especially like that he converted a steel bowl into the sink.

    BTW I love your blog background - all the prints hanging up to dry and the lovely framed items standing in a group.